Hungary referred to EU Court of Justice over asylum legislation
July 26, 2019
The European Commission referred Hungary to the EU Court of Justice on Thursday due to continued legislation that criminalizes asylum application support and restricts asylum requests.
The referral follows a 2018 formal notice concerning the same legislation. The law was introduced by Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has gained traction using an anti-immigration platform. Per the legislation, anyone who assists a person without legal status can be penalized with a jail sentence. Consequently, this law prevents asylum seekers from communicating with national, international and non-governmental organization representatives, and the Commission has argued that this law violates EU regulations governing asylum applicants.
The Commission has also criticized Hungary’s unlawful limitation to the right of asylum. Currently, refugees who enter Hungary via countries that do not persecute asylum seekers are unable to qualify for asylum. This law essentially uses Hungary’s neighboring countries as buffer states to reduce legitimate asylum requests.
Because Hungary has not properly addressed many of the concerns brought forward by the Commission—and due to the fact that Hungary has continued to enforce laws that appear contrary to EU law—the Court of Justice will now evaluate Hungary’s legislation to determine whether it is compatible with EU Asylum Procedures and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU.
The European Commission has also begun to add new complaints related to the withholding of refugee support, including the lack of food provision to asylum seekers traveling in transit zones.
Guatemala high court blocks agreement to have migrants apply for asylum there rather than in US
July 16, 2019
The Guatemala Constitutional Court granted an injunction Sunday to stop the country’s President, Jimmy Morales, from entering into a proposal with the US that would require migrants from El Salvador and Honduras to apply for asylum in Guatemala instead of in the US.
Morales canceled a trip to Washington, DC, earlier Sunday to let the court rule on the injunction.
The agreement is not popular in Guatemala—the two candidates in the upcoming runoff presidential election and the Catholic Church have both opposed the plan. A lawyer arguing for the injunction stated that the plan is criticized because “Guatemala utterly lacks the institutions able to offer migrants the minimal conditions with respect to human rights.”
Additionally, proponents of the injunction argue that the president does not have the power to sign the agreement. The country’s Constitution, in Article 171, determined that any treaties or international agreements need to be approved by Congress.
Denmark lawmakers vote to tighten regulations against asylum seekers
February 22, 2019
The Parliament of Denmark on Thursday voted 76-24 to pass an immigration bill that will increase restrictions on residence permits and tighten penalties for violating residence rules and obligations.
With the new bill, residence permits will provide fewer assurances to refugees. The bill amends the wording of the Aliens Act so that “residence permits [will be] granted for temporary residence.” These residence permits will also be able to be withdrawn or exempted “unless it is in direct conflict with Denmark’s international obligations.”
To address violations of rules for residence permits, there are several proposals to increase punishments for crimes and breach of entry ban violations. One of these is the possible introduction of “a duty of residence” on Lindholm, an isolated island once used to contain and research infectious diseases in contagious animals.
Denmark has been reluctant in recent years to accept its immigrant quota, citing the need to improve integration for its existing immigrant population. The bill, though, shifts interest and emphasis toward repatriation efforts. The bill also reduces representation of refugee interests by increasing voting and election qualifications, requiring at least four years of residency.
The bill is set to take effect March 1.
Australia lawmakers approve legislation allowing Manus Island asylum seekers to receive medical care in Australia
February 12, 2019
The lower house of the Australian Parliament passed amendments Tuesday that would give doctors more power to bring over asylum seekers stranded in the country’s offshore camps for treatment.
Australia has held thousands of asylum seekers in camps on the island nation of Nauru and Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island since 2013, with about 1,000 remaining on both islands. The conditions at these camps have been heavily criticized by human rights groups, and Doctors Without Borders warned late last year that about 30 percent of its patients on Nauru had attempted suicide.
The amendments passed would enable transfers of asylum seekers to Australia for medical reasons based on a referral from two doctors, unless the home affairs minister intervened with a security concern. Doctors would be able to issue these referrals based on their own assessment of whether a patient’s life was at risk, and of whether the patient was receiving inadequate care on the islands.
Late last year, public pressure over severe health issues facing children living on the islands prompted officials to allow all of them to be relocated to Australia. While this resettlement has been celebrated as a success, human rights officials warn that an urgent medical crisis still faces the adult asylum seekers living on the islands. The new amendments allowing transfers to Australia for medical reasons still need to be approved by the upper house of the Australian parliament.
December 19, 2018
A federal judge on Wednesday blocked Trump administration asylum restriction policies that prevented immigrants who were victims of gang or domestic violence in their home countries from seeking asylum.
The ruling came as a result of a lawsuit that the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies filed on behalf of 12 asylum seekers. These asylum seekers were denied asylum after taking part in interviews that were “designed to evaluate whether plaintiffs had a credible fear of persecution by their respective home countries.” After these interviews, the plaintiffs were denied asylum after officers applied “the standards set forth in a recent precedential immigration decision issued by then-Attorney General, Jefferson B. Sessions.”
In blocking these standards, the judge found that “the new credible fear policies are arbitrary, capricious, and in violation of the immigration laws.”
Federal judge blocks Trump asylum restrictions
November 20, 2018
A judge for the US District Court for the Northern District of California on Monday temporarily blocked a Trump administration rule to deny asylum to migrants who illegally cross the southern border into the US, saying the policy likely violates federal law on asylum eligibility. Leer el resto de esta entrada »
Training on Implementation of Asylum and Migration Cases
Source: ECHR Blog
August 10, 2018
The European Implementation Network has issued a call for applications for an interesting new thematic training in Strasbourg on 11 and 12 October. Please note: the deadline to apply is soon, 17 August. Staff of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) is invited to participate in a thematic training seminar on advocating for full and effective implementation of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR, ‘the Court’) in the field of asylum and migration. Please see the information of the organisers below: Leer el resto de esta entrada »